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Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart met with media earlier this week while on the Southeastern Conference’s weekly teleconference call.
The Bulldogs face the Tigers this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will air on CBS.
Here is everything the Georgia coach said:
“We are excited to be headed over to Auburn and play what we think is a good football team. They just won a big game on the road. I’ve known Coach (Bryan) Harsin for a long time. He does a tremendous job. It’s a really tough place to play. I’ve always thought their stadium and the experiences I’ve had their, it’s one of the toughest places to play in the conference. They have tremendous support and fans. Our guys have to be mentally prepared to go on the road in the SEC. We are excited for the opportunity.”
On Jackson Meeks:
“He’s a really good athlete. He has balance and body control. He has great size. He’s a physical kid. Since being here, his pride in special teams ad pride in getting on the field, and in the receiver room has been tremendous. He has a really good attitude since he’s been over here. He’s a hard worker. We enjoy having him.”
On the return game…
“We have a good unit there at kickoff return. We haven’t really had many opportunities at kickoff return. We’re getting a lot of touchbacks and things lot that. We’re not getting a lot of opportunities. Punt return, we have had some opportunities. We’ve been aggressive. We’ve come after some, in terms of trying to block and hold guys up. We’ve had some very different looks by teams rugbying and kicking away from us. Kearis (Jackson) is our punt returner right now and it’s not something we’re looking to change unless we have to. If he’s down or injured Ladd (McKonkey) is the backup.”
On defensive improvements…
“We have to force more turnovers. We have to tackle better, especially on the perimeter and the secondary. We have to do a much better job of gap control upfront. Those are some of the biggest things we can improve on. Those come with opportunities and we have an opportunity this Saturday. We have to stay away from explosives, in terms of the ball getting down field.”
On the atmosphere at Auburn…
“It’s extremely loud. Most SEC places are, but they have incredible ability to affect the game in terms of noise and energy they bring. We are going to play the 11 guys on the field with our 11 guys and try to focus on that and prepare the best we can for that environment.”
On the run game…
“You always try to take what the defense gives you. That was part of our game plan. That’s why we have meetings all week to prepare. You put ideas together. Sometime your ideas work and sometimes they don’t. You have to have another plan if things aren’t going. That’s what you do all off-season. We didn’t do anything different in terms of our base run game. Just doing it more often and trying to have success doing it.”